Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2008, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1972

On August 11, Cheung Sam-tak, 21, lay paralysed in shock after surviving a lightning strike on a squatter boat, but his younger brother Cheung Sam-cheung, 19, lying only a few feet away was killed instantly. Lightning struck at 4.30am in the Kowloon Bay squatter boat area near Kwun Tong. It hit the left side of a 150 foot boat, which had a family of 18 on board. 'Something was burning next to me, but I just could not turn my head to see what had happened after the deafening lightning nearby. It seemed as if I had been tied up and I couldn't move a single finger,' Cheung Sam-tak said.

Nigerian police arrested a goat for suspected kidnapping and it was under observation at a police station in the Lagos suburb of Ikoyi. The reason police gave for the goat's arrest was because a man believed to be a child snatcher was reported to have changed into a goat. Nigerian television showed a film of the goat and the large crowd, which had gathered at Obalende, Lagos, after it was detained. Kidnappers are widely believed to have supernatural powers enabling them to charm children into following them - or even change into animals when detected. The TV account quoted a police superintendent as saying that so far no one has come forward to give an eyewitness account of the alleged kidnapping attempt. It might be a hoax, he conceded.

The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched a new wave of shelling at strategic South Vietnamese positions on August 11 and battered government forces in Quang Tri, with hundreds of rounds of artillery. The US command, meanwhile, announced the withdrawal of the only remaining infantry unit at Danang, officially ending the American ground combat role after 71/2 years. By September 1, 39,000 Americans will remain in Vietnam, including advisers, logistics personnel and airmen. Another 100,000 Americans are operating from air bases in Guam and Thailand, and from ships of the Seventh Fleet off the coast of Vietnam.

On August 15, police wearing bulletproof vests carried out raids searching for the gang responsible for the recent hand grenade attacks in Western. It was not known whether the officers had found the cache of grenades stolen from an army camp in the New Territories in June. Thugs using stolen cars made two attacks, one injuring two detectives and the other damaging the Tai Sang Pawnshop in Queen's Road West. The first attack on August 2 involved three thugs who entered the pawnshop and demanded $50,000. When their demands were ignored, one of them dropped a grenade inside and then dashed out. The explosion shattered the glass and woodwork but no one was hurt. Six days later two detectives were killed when a group of young people in a car hurled a grenade at officers who attempted to question them in Sands Street.

On August 16, the Post reported that Hongkong's communists are gradually but successfully increasing their infiltration into the banking, trade and unions. Since the 1967 disturbances, the communists have been concentrating on these sectors. In January 1968, the communists claimed membership of 126,000 workers in leftist unions. By July of this year, the number had increased to 150,000 and paid-up membership had doubled to 115,000. In banking, the communists control about 20 per cent of all facilities. Three new communist banks have opened this year. Turnover is estimated at $1.6 billion.

For the first time in the history of the modern Olympic Games, a woman was selected to take the oath. Heidi Schueller, West Germany's 100 metres hurdles champion, was chosen on August 17 for the role at the opening ceremony of the 20th Olympiad in Munich. The 22-year-old Cologne University medical student was chosen for her self-confidence during a voice test she made. Only men have taken the oath since the first modern Games were held in 1896.